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TV

Cops

Show FAQ
How long has the show COPS been on television?
COPS has been on television since March 11, 1989.
 
Who produces the show COPS?
COPS is produced by Langley Productions, located in Santa Monica, California, USA.
 
Are any of the stories on COPS staged or recreated? I can't believe people are actually that crazy!
No part of the show COPS is staged, pre-planned or recreated. What you see each week is exactly what happened in front of the camera, only edited down to seven minute stories.
 
How many crew members ride along with the officers while on patrol?
COPS uses two person crews in each police car. A camera person rides in the front passenger seat, while a sound mixer rides in the back seat. If it's a two person police unit, then both camera operator and sound mixer will ride in the back seat of the cruiser.
 
Do the COPS camera crew members wear bullet proof vests?
Ballistic resistant vests are provided for crew members by Langley Productions, the producers of COPS.
 
Do the police officers who appear on COPS get paid to be on the show?
The officers and deputies who appear on COPS are not compensated for their appearance on the show. They do receive their regular pay from the agency they work for while the COPS crew is riding with them.
 
Have any crew members been shot or seriously injured during the production of the show?
The job of being a police officer is inherently dangerous. The job of a reality show camera crew member also has it's dangers. Put the two together and there is risk of getting hurt, even if you are careful. Over the years, there have been numerous minor injuries just from running through unknown backyards, being in police cars that have gotten in accidents, slipping, falling, being clotheslined, etc. On several occasions, crews have found themselves in the middle of angry crowds and have been hit by flying objects. The only shooting occurred when an officer mishandled a firearm taken from the trunk of a suspect's car and it discharged, hitting the cameraman in his legs. Though the injury was serious, the cameraman recovered and continued working for the show for awhile. And a sound mixer passed away in his sleep while working for the show from a non-work related cause. All in all, the show and all it's crew have been very fortunate.
 
Why does it seem that the show goes to the same cities over and over again? Why don't they just go to all cities?
The show COPS must be invited by the city or county, police chief, sheriff, or city manager before they consider riding in an area. If an invitation is received, producers for the show then go to meet with the officials and ride on patrol in those areas to see if the area meets the production needs of the show. If it does, then a contract is signed between the show and the area and the production team works on scheduling a time to go to that area for taping. The show can't just show up and demand to ride along with agencies who don't want them to. The cities and counties you see on the show have all invited the show to come and work with their officers and continue to have them back every several years. Those cities and areas that have never been on the show, either don't have what the show requires as far as activity, or they don't want the show to ride with their agencies.
 
I am taking television production in school. Can I get a job with the show COPS?
COPS is a highly specialized reality series that requires extreme skills and physical abilities from it's crew members. Typically, each crew member is picked from the best in the business, usually with a background in news gathering and documentary production and years of experience.
 
Do the people who get arrested or appear on COPS get paid to be on the show?
The policy for the show COPS is to not compensate those who appear on camera.
 
In the early years, we used to see lots of people with blurry dots on their faces. Now we rarely see that. Why were their faces blurred but others were not? And why do we not see blurred faces anymore?
Those who appear on the show must sign a photo release, allowing Langley Productions to use their face on their shows. In the first years of production, many people weren't familiar with the show and some refused to sign the release. The show just blurred out their face and included them in the story. But the process of blurring is expensive and time consuming. Also, over the years, more and more people saw being on COPS as their chance at their "15 minutes of fame" so were more inclined to sign. Today, the show tries to not blur faces if at all possible which seems to be the preference of the viewers.
 
Which agency was the first to appear on COPS?
The Broward County (Florida) sheriff's department was the first agency to appear on COPS.
 

Warning: Cops guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Documentary
Genre: Crime
Status: Returning Series
Network: SPIKE ( USA)
Airs: Saturdays at 08:00 pm
Runtime: 30 Minutes
Premiere: March 11, 1989
Episode Order: 22
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